Fat transfer is a technique that appeared in the 80s. The first fat transfer performed in the context of a reconstructive surgery was carried out by Dr. Coleman in 1983, he called this new technique ‘lipostructure’.
Dr. Bernard Hayot, a specialist in cosmetic eyelid surgery in Paris, used this surgical technique the following year to perform the first filling of dark circle with lipofilling. Since then, many cosmetic surgeons have adapted this method to rejuvenate the upper third of the face.
If the main use of the lipostructure is currently the filling of facial wrinkles (orbital contour, nasolabial folds) and the restoration of volumes (cheeks, temples, dark circles), the injection of fat also provides a solution to the victims of an accident to soften the fibrous tissues as part of a reconstructive surgery.
A Word from Doctor Hayot
At the beginning of cosmetic surgery, the only way to rejuvenate the face was to perform a facelift by ‘pulling the skin’ of the face. This technique had the major disadvantage of giving a ‘surgical look’ to patients and thus betraying their trust of cosmetic surgery.
Today, when I practice fat transfer in theatre, I try to restore lost volume by re-injecting autologous fat into the hollow of the eyelid, cheekbones and temples. This technique, called facial lipostructure or lipofilling, makes it possible to rejuvenate the face significantly in a natural way and without resorting to a foreign body or invasive surgery.
What are the different causes of ageing of the face ?
As we age, volume in the centre of the face decreases. Loss of volume appears in the upper and lower eyelid, the malar area responsible of the accentuation of the nasolabial fold and the temple responsible for the drooping of the tail of the eyebrow
“Other signs of ageing include the loss of skin elasticity, decreased dermis trophicity and the appearance of age spots. The regeneration of skin quality can be treated by nano-lipostructure. The appearance of wrinkles is also a major sign of ageing, these can now be filled using fat transfer.
These techniques of fat injection help to rejuvenate harmoniously:
- Nano-lipostructure or wrinkle filling
- Injection of fat into wrinkles
This is the first time that we have a perfectly safe product to rejuvenate and also to provide an answer to all other causes of ageing. The result is a harmonious rejuvenation which is much more durable and natural.
The zones treated by lipofilling
Fat transfer is a treatment of choice for global rejuvenation, combined in some cases with a mini facelift of the neck, shape of the face or eyelid surgery.
fat transfer of the face or lipostructure is the best solution for permanent filling in the upper third of the face in the following areas:.
Dark circle fat transfer
The hollow circle appears with the ageing of the face and the dissolving of the volumes but sometimes it is just a hereditary characteristic visible from a young age. This area of eyes is also likely to be coloured: red, purple or brown circles depending on the ethnicity of each patient.
fat transfer is the only treatment to treat dark circles. Hyaluronic acid is contraindicated in this area because it does not resorb itself with time under the eyes area. It swells and can form pockets after few years and the product become visible with time through the skin of the eyelid giving a bluish appearance (Tyndall effect of hyaluronic acid).
It is because hyaluronic acid does not give a satisfying result on the dark circles that I choose the injection fat for a natural and definitive result.
Upper eyelid fat transfer
The upper eyelid can become hollow with ageing and the micro-lipostructure allow us to treat hollow eye: the hollow eye cannot be treated with hyaluronic acid and the lipostructure is the only treatment that gives sustainable and truly satisfying results.
The upper eyelid can also age in association with a slight excess of skin and a loss of volume. It is the additional blepharoplasty, associated with a skin excision and a restoration of the volume of the eyelid to give back the youth to the eyelid which will avoid digging the eye during a blepharoplasty.
Cheekbone fat transfer
The domed and prominent cheekbones are a charming asset for women and men who have a face too emaciated or too deepened with the age.
The dissolving of the cheekbone and the malar pockets is one of the first signs of ageing, the restoration of volume of the cheekbone and the malar pockets gives excellent results. The lipofilling of the cheekbones is to inject fat on the side of the face to enhance the cheekbones area. The injection points are almost invisible thanks to the use of micro cannula of 0.7 mm diameter during the surgery. For a natural result, trust a plastic surgeon specialized in lipofilling.
Temple fat transfer
The temple is an area often neglected in the rejuvenation of the upper third of the face, yet it is an essential area to treat and revive the eyes. The temple when it has its full volume ‘supports’ the tail of the eyebrow. When the temple begins to lose volume the tail of the eyebrow falls slightly.
The best way to illuminate the eye in a natural way without looking ‘drawn’ is to restore the volume of the temple and thus to raise the tail of eyebrow without a lifting effect.
Cheeks fat transfer
The fat transfer or lipostructure of the cheeks allows to reshape the faces too emaciated who suffered a loss of fat after several diets or too much weight loss. This principle of self-grafting fat into the cheeks will fill the void left by the dissolving of facial volumes in an instantaneous and definitive way.
The lipofilling technique by Dr Hayot
Lipostructure or lipofilling of the face (dark circle, upper eyelid, temples, cheekbone or cheeks) is performed surgically using a micro cannula no bigger than one millimetre: ‘I take the fat from the patients abdomen or knee, I then clean, rinse, and remove the fibrosis before injecting it as a filling product.
I use lipofilling (fat transfer) in conjunction with upper blepharoplasty or the removal of the eye bags with laser or a mini lifting of the face and the neck.
The benefits of facial fat transfer
The benefits of lipostructure compared to cosmetic facial surgery are numerous. The micro fat injections allow us to fill in volume parsimoniously without altering the personality of your face.
- The results of the micro-lipostructure are permanent. Lipofilling is a true micro fat transplant for which the results are proven reliable and durable.
- The results of lipofilling are natural. It is a restoration of volume that has decreased over time and not a creation of new volume that has never existed. The lipostructure gives a much more natural result than a facelift.
- The results are harmonious. All areas of the face and all layers of the skin can be treated.
- The procedures are safe – It is not a matter of injecting synthetic products but the patient’s’ own fat
- The micro cannulas used during the lipofilling limit the appearance of hematomas and bruises. It also allows better precision and a better dosage of the quantity injected during the intervention.
- Anaesthesia: localised potentials (neuroleptanalgesia) or pure local anaesthesia
- Duration of the intervention: approximately two hours
- Hospitalisation: outpatient
- Desocialisation: 8 to 10 days (presence of Fat transfer-related oedema)
Other types of lipofilling
Dr. Hayot, a specialist in eyelid surgery in Paris & London, specializes in eyelid fat transfer and facial lipostructure. This technique allows him to rejuvenate all the face in the most gentle and natural way possible.
However, the technique of lipofilling can be practiced on different parts of the body:
- Fat transfer for buttocks augmentation
- Breast lipofilling for breast augmentation
- Correction of asymmetries of the thighs or calves or reshaping of the legs
- Filling of chest malformations and hollow sternums
- Fat transfer for intimate areas to increase the size of genitalia organs.
The fat transfer of the body can be performed in the same operating time as a lipofilling of the face. The liposuction that precedes the lipofilling procedure will determine the amount of re-injectable fat. A very small amount of fat is needed for a facial lipofilling while for breast augmentation or lipostructure of the buttocks it will be necessary to take a lot of fat.
Why do we prefer fat transfer to hyaluronic acid ?
Hyaluronic acid is a very large molecule (macromolecule), naturally present in the skin and able to fix the water in it. In recent years, it has become one of the most used active ingredients in aesthetic medicine because it simply and quickly corrects wrinkles, facial volumes, skin moisture and has very few side effects.
In fact, hyaluronic acid acts as a sponge by capturing the water of the body and this is why the face appears sometimes inflated and sur-injected. On the other hand, this product is not completely absorbable in certain areas and especially under the eyes where the acid never resorbs itself with time. It results in swollen bluish pockets under eyes due to the effect of light scattering on the transparent acid (Tyndall effect).
In other areas, when it is injected in depth (such as the cheekbones) Hyaluronic Acid does not resorb itself as well. Some doctors think that the acid is completely resorbable and reinject their patients every year which often results by swollen faces that betray aesthetic treatments.
These faces betray all aesthetic acts and the results become more and more a stereotype. The end result is the same on everyone with high cheekbones and hollow eyes, which are areas that shouldn’t be injected with hyaluronic acid.
That is why in order to avoid stereotyped faces and to obtain a harmonious rejuvenation of the whole face (the fat can be injected in all the areas of the face) that Dr HAYOT turned for several years towards the techniques of fat injection (facial fat transfer) that he considers safer, more reliable, more effective, more durable, and above all much more natural.
Dr. Hayot is positioning himself as a precursor of the new fat transfer techniques: ‘I am convinced that in 5 years, cosmetic surgeons will be able to practice fat injections in their medical practice under strict hygiene standards. The fat will be injected in the form of mesotherapy to rejuvenate the overall of the face (see page nano lipofilling) or volumizing product (see page lipofilling volumizer). I think we are moving towards a democratisation of the technique! ‘
Fat transfer : risks and precautions
Fat transfer does not present any health risks for the patient, but in cosmetic and restorative surgery, as for any surgical procedure, the zero risk does not exist.
Before resorting to fat transfer, the patient must ensure that:
- The surgeon performs this operation in a surgery room, in a sterile room and with medical personnel trained in the procedure. Lipofilling should not be practiced in a medical office or an aesthetic centre, it is a real surgical operation! – No solid food should be eaten in the 12 hours prior the intervention: the patient must be fasting since midnight the day before.
- Any use of antibiotics, medication or painkillers should be notified and usually stopped days before surgery.
- An anaesthetist consultation is necessary in order to validate the feasibility of the operation according to the patient’s state of health. This consultation will lead to an inevitable blood test.
Following the intervention, the cosmetic surgeon will give you a set of precautions to take. In general, you will need to take ten days rest after lipofilling for quick healing and total disappearance of the oedema caused by the intervention
Fat transfer rates
The prices of fat transfer in Paris & London are variable depending on the patient’s indications, the location of the intervention, clinic fees and especially the area to be treated.
The price of fat transfer also varies according to the number of procedures performed and the time estimated by the surgeon to perform the various cosmetic surgeries. Most often facial fat transfer is accompanied by a blepharoplasty (cosmetic surgery of the eyelids, treatment of the pocket under the eyes or a mini-lift).
For a tailor-made quote and the price of lipofilling, make an appointment with Dr. Bernard Hayot